“Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” – Dr. Seuss, Happy Birthday to You
Ever since Cody and Nick were very small we have always had shelves filled with children’s books. Paul and I loved reading to them and they both had their personal favorites. I know they were their favorites because they were the books that Paul and I could recite from memory due to the fact they were often read again and again and just one more time, Mommy……please. One set of books has been in our family the longest because they are truly the most fun and the most loved. They are books written by Dr. Seuss. Those particular books hold a special place in my heart because I believe they truly made all the difference when Cody was learning to read. Because of his autism he was delayed in that area of learning, so we needed to find something simple, but fun and entertaining. I remember specifically how well Hop on Pop worked for us and for him. It was not only because the words were simple and easy for him to learn and pronounce, but there is also a lot of repetition, which is hugely important when teaching a child with autism a new skill. Cody’s love of Dr. Seuss, as well as mine, grew and grew along with our collection of his books. To this day Cody will sit and read Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You? to anyone who wants to listen. I know he has it memorized, but he still recites it page-by-page having fun with all of the many sounds of Mr. Brown and the silly illustrations that come with every turn of the page. I really should capture it on video one of these times because it is such a joy to watch and listen to him, especially when learning to read was such a challenge for him when he was little. One of my very favorite memories of a time when Dr. Seuss played an important role in our lives was at Cody’s 5th grade Promotion ceremony. Every year at his elementary school a small ceremony is held to promote the 5th graders to middle school. The gymnasium is filled with all of the students and faculty, along with parents and community members, and the 5th grade students always do something a little special as a way to say goodbye to elementary school before they make the huge transition to being middle schoolers. Cody’s class chose to read the Dr. Seuss book Oh, The Places You’ll Go! They all took turns stepping up to the microphone, reading excerpts from this Dr. Seuss version of a graduation speech. Cody stepped up to that microphone and read an excerpt from the book. He didn’t need any help or prompting from a teacher or a fellow student as he read slowly and clearly for crowd filled gymnasium. It was many years ago, but I can still remember being overcome with emotion and pride, not only for Cody, but for all of the students and the kindness and support they always showed Cody throughout their elementary school years. I’d like to think that Dr. Seuss and Cody both left a lasting impression on everyone in the gymnasium that day. So today I’d like to say Happy Birthday to YOU, Dr. Seuss! Thank you for sharing your gift of writing and for the difference it made in the life of my son, and for our entire family.
Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links and if you click on any of them and buy one of these wonderful books, you will put a few pennies in my pocket. Not to be confused with putting a Wocket in my Pocket, which would be a whole lot of fun.